5 Proven Techniques for Preparing for a Job Interview

When it comes to preparing for a job interview, the last thing you want to do is walk into an interview and "wing it." In fact, you want to hone your interview skills as much as possible. Just start with these five tips:

1. Memorize your résumé. The interviewer doesn't have as much riding on this meeting as you do, so he will probably be cribbing off your résumé for questions. Be sure to memorize everything on your résumé so you can effectively answer questions about your work history.

2. Arrive early and build a rapport. You don't want to arrive too early to an interview, as that will appear strange, but a 15-minute head start is ample time to strike up a conversation with the office receptionist or anyone else you run across. Building a rapport with the support staff can actually help your chances of being hired. It's not uncommon for a hiring manager to ask other people in the office, "What did you think?"

3. Ask questions, as the interview is a two-way street. Remember, you need to be interviewing your would-be employer in this meeting, as well. Asking questions about the day-to-day operations at the company will show that you are both observant and ready to learn the ropes.

4. Use appropriate body language. You can say a lot in an interview without even opening your mouth, so be mindful of your body language. Try to avoid fidgeting and looking nervous. On the other hand, don't appear too relaxed and informal. Be sure to stand up straight, and make eye contact with your interviewer, always appearing attentive and friendly.

5. Follow up the interview after you leave. Don't walk out of an interview and expect everything to fall into place. You can still have some influence over the interview process by touching base after you leave. Thank your interviewer for the opportunity in a letter or e-mail. Either method is acceptable, but be sure to do this within 24 hours after you leave the meeting.

Even the most seasoned jobseeker can overlook some of the above advice, so it is vital to remember the little details that affect your chances of being hired. In today's job market, you need every possible advantage if you want to make a positive impression.

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